Prompt for September 8: The Bill


[prompt from ]

Her scowl deepened. “You charged me for a refill on milk?”

I gulped. The other servers had warned me about Mrs. Perkins and how she treated everyone at the restaurant. “It’s our policy. Only coffee, water, and soda has free refills.”

She narrowed her eyes at me. “Oh really? Then why don’t you say that to the customer before they order?”

“If you would look at the menu, ma’am, you would—“

“You should inform the customer before you charge!” Her voice had risen and the patrons at the surrounding tables turned to look at us. She waved the bill in my face. “If I would have known I’d be charged an extra $1.89 for trying to be healthier, ordering milk instead of my diet coke, I would never have sat down!”

Sarah, having come from nowhere, pushed me to the side and started doing her managerial magic. I slunk back to the kitchen. As the other servers tried to console me, I tried to recover my service-with-a-smile attitude by munching on bacon and chocolate chips. I knew I failed the test. I’d never survive the restaurant business if I couldn’t satisfy picky patrons like Mrs. Perkins.

When I came back to the front, Mrs. Perkins had left. I went to clear off the table, noticing instantly that she didn’t leave behind a tip.


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